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Mexico commits to more than $4 million in Tijuana sewer upgrades

Tijuana, Baja California — The National Water Commission has committed more than $4 million USD to upgrading the Tijuana waste water system.

In a statement, Roberto Ramírez Parra, director general of Mexico’s National Water Commission, said that work will begin in early April to upgrade the sewage infrastructure that flows into the Tijuana River.

The upgrades aim to reduce the contaminated water that flows into the Tijuana River from flowing across the border into San Diego.

“This is an effort to put an end to the health crisis that the municipality has been facing,” Roberto Ramírez Parra said in a statement.

Mexico’s federal government says they will invest $4.35 million USD into the infrastructure. The largest part of the upgrade will be the replacement of the Colector Poniente, a 2.6 mile-long stretch of sewage pipeline.

The cost to replace that section will see the Mexican government invest over $3 million USD. Costs for the project are being split by Mexico’s National Water Commission, the Baja California public service commission, CESPT, and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, through its border infrastructure fund that is administered by the North American Development Bank.

Approved in November, the upgrades will include replacing approximately 1,000 feet of smaller sewer lines that connect to the large pipeline system.

Aside from pipelines, other parts of the project include spending $1.35 million USD on the main pump station for the city of Tijuana as well as two other key pump stations near the US border. A backup generator and new engines for the CILA pump station will also be part of the project, with costs being fronted by the state of Baja California.

A plan by the Baja California government estimates that the entire system is in need of $330 million USD in upgrades and infrastructure. One key aspect of the project that has not been funded is the expansion and upgrade of the San Antonio de Los Buenos treatment plant.

Mexican authorities say these immediate upgrades will help to minimize the risk of contamination and spills that occur on the beaches on both sides of the border.